Raw chocolate drinks are made from organic cacao beans (all photos courtesy Rau | Facebook).
 We drink Rau from the bottle, but you can choose your vessel.
 Coconut lovers: You have another reason to be happy.
 Rau’s recipe for Chocolate Oat Brownie Batter oatmeal: 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of Bold Original Rau, 1/4 cup almond milk, plus 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds and toppings of choice.
How could any chocolate beverage with such low sugar taste this good?
We’re shamelessly in love with the bottled rink line called Rau. Chocolate has returned to its roots, as an energizing drink (it took thousands of years to produce solid chocolate—the history of chocolate).
How to describe Rau? It’s a line of dairy-free, cacao-based “superfood drinks” that are low in sugar and high in flavor.
Unlike chocolate milk, for example, the product tastes wonderfully healthful, as raw cacao does (the flavor is similar to a sweetened cacao nib). It’s not for the milk-chocolate-only crowd, but for those who enjoy semisweet chocolate flavor.
Dairy-free and vegan doesn’t mean richness-free. While the drink is not viscous, it’s the very lack of milkfat viscosity that makes it so refreshing.
The richness comes from cocoa butter, which is separated from the cacao bean when the cocoa powder is pressed (here’s more about cocoa powder production). The result is what we call “light richness,” one of those oxymorons that works.
A GUILT-FREE CHOCOLATE DRINK
The drinks manage to be both refreshing and indulgent; and at 120 calories/8g sugar per 12-ounce bottle, with clean ingredients, they’re a pretty guilt-free chocolate snack. It’s Rau a “naked” product, free of refined sugar, dairy, GMOs, soy and anything artificial*.
The cacao delivers the antioxidant benefits of raw cocoa†, and preserves vital nutrients with a technique called high pressure processed (HPP).
With HPP, the beverage is put under thousands of pounds of cold water pressure to eliminate bacteria while keeping the drink raw.‡ The company calls it “the first cold pressured chocolate beverage.”
Modestly sweetened with coconut palm sugar (8g), enhanced with a bit of monk fruit (lo han guo), a melon grown in Southeast Asia that, like stevia, provides a calorie-free, natural (non-chemical) sweetener.
The only challenge is that consumers are going to pronounce the brand as rhyming with cow, while the company pronounces it raw, as in raw cacao. (A point of trivia: The brand’s logo is a gorilla, and “rau” means hairy or shaggy in German.)
DON’T PICK YOUR FLAVOR: TRY THEM ALL!
There are six spot-on flavors, each a must-try:
- Bold Original
- Cold Brew Mocha
- Salted Caramel
MORE WAYS TO ENJOY RAU CHOCOLATE DRINK
We think the drinks are perfect as is, right from the bottle. But the sybarites among is should consider adding it to:
- Cold or hot cereal, instead of milk; or cook your oatmeal in it (photo #4).
- Cocktails—a Chocolate Martini is obvious, but we love Rau with a splash of Irish cream or liqueur.
- Dessert, either as a dessert beverage or as the dessert itself.
SEND IT AS A GIFT
You can buy it online and send it as a Valentine gift—or an anytime gift for a chocolate lover.
And by all means, bring a copy of this article to your local retailers and ask them to carry it.
The SRP is $3.99 a bottle, and worth every penny (we currently have a two-bottle-a-day habit).
All six flavors deserve to be tried: Bold Original, Coconut, Cold Brew Mocha, Mint, Salted Caramel and Semi-Sweet.
*The ingredients are filtered water, cacao (cocoa) powder, cacao (cocoa) butter, Himalayan pink salt, vanilla or other extract, spices and monk fruit extract.
†The biggest typo in chocolate history: Cocoa is a transposition of cacao, the original name of the tree and its fruit (the pods that bear the seeds, or beans, that are harvested and roasted to start the chocolate-making process). The misspelling probably happened on an African trading ship manifest in the 18th century. But for some merchant’s mistake, we’d be drinking a nice hot cup of cacao and mixing cacao with butter, sugar and eggs to make brownies.
‡The high heat of pasteurizing, which cannot be used on raw foods, cooks off important nutrients.”